The Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot program was announced in January 2023 by the Defense Department. The program is a 12-week paid fellowship program for spouses of currently serving members of the branches of the military including the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force and Space Forces in addition to National Guard components.
The pilot program will run for three years, with the first cohort beginning work through January 2023. After application, spouses are accepted into the program and placed with host companies to match with their location and work experience to provide a work opportunity and professional training and mentoring. There is not a public list of host employers.
The goal of the program is to connect equipped spouses with companies who have partnered with the Hiring Our Heroes program. The 12-week fellowship program may lead to continued employment through a direct hire program, depending on the company. It does not guarantee continued employment.
Spouses can apply through the MySeco website. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications do require a DS Logon for identity verification. Not everyone is guaranteed a fellowship. For those who apply but are not matched with a fellowship, the resources on Hiring Our Heroes and SECO offer other fellowships or coaching.
Employers can apply to participate in the program on the Hiring Our Heroes website.
The program is a brand-new initiative, and since the first cohort just started, there is little information on the number of spouses within the program or how many fellowships lead to direct hiring. This program does not address one of the biggest barriers to military spouse employment – childcare. The program does not specifically note if positions are remote, but since the posting states that it provides “hands on professional training” to military spouses accepted in the program, positions could be in person or remote.
What the program does do is provide contacts to the professional world. It is a difficult step to “get a foot in the doorway” in some professions, so while it may not lead to continued employment with that company, perhaps the contacts made will lead to other meaningful work. Time will tell the success of this program. If you or someone you know has been accepted into the program, please share the experience with others.